5th BIMCO Report on the IMSBC Code Amendments entering into force - New Table of Characteristics


BIMCO started reporting from 30 September 2020,  a series of articles, informing members of what to expect in the revised International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code (Amendment 05-19), which will come into force on 1 January 2021. This is the 5th article in the series. Today, BIMCO reports on a new table of physical properties and hazard classification for cargo entries in the IMSBC Code.

A typical user of the IMSBC Code would be familiar with a table that appears in every cargo schedule of the said Code, listing out the following characteristics of the cargo in question: 

  • Angle of repose
  • Bulk density 
  • Stowage factor 
  • Size 
  • IMO class 
  • IMSBC Code Group classification 

The current table of 'Characteristics' - a sample shown below will remain valid till 31 December 2020: 

Current table of Characteristics until 31 December 2020


Under the new Amendment 05-19, the table of "Characteristics" has completely changed and this is how it will look on 1 January 2021: 

New Table of Characteristics with effect from 1 January 2021

Two things should be noted in this new table:

  • The top half of  " Physical properties" comprising the properties of " size", " angle of repose", "bulk density" and " stowage factor" is non-mandatory.
  • The bottom half of " Hazard classification" comprising of   "class", "subsidiary hazards", "MHB" ( materials hazardous only in bulk) and "Group" is mandatory. "Class" and "Subsidiary hazards" are the classification criteria used for dangerous goods under the International Maritime Dangerous Goods ( IMDG) Code, which are also applied for dangerous goods carried in solid bulk form. "Group" refers to the general classification criteria used for classifying solid bulk cargoes in the IMSBC Code.

To see the various IMSBC Code classifications for solid bulk cargoes, please click on the following BIMCO Cargo Group listings:   

Members should also view the BIMCO Solid Bulk Cargo section's landing page

Ai Cheng Foo-Nielsen
in Copenhagen, DK


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